Abstract: The application of unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs), or “drones”, to generate data to support better decisions for agricultural management and farm operations is a relatively new technology that is now beginning to enter the market. This potentially disruptive technology is still in its infancy and must mature in ways that the current market cannot clearly foresee and probably does not fully understand. Major technical and regulatory hurdles must be overcome before the full potential of this remote sensing technology can be realized in agricultural applications. Further, and most importantly, buyers and sellers in today’s market must both gain a deeper understanding of the potential that this technology might achieve and the technical challenges that must be met before advances that will bring significant market value will be possible. A lack of understanding of some of the basic concepts of remote sensing can translate into poor decisions regarding the acquisition and deployment of UAVs in agriculture. This paper focuses on some of the details of remote sensing that few growers, and, indeed, few university researchers fully understand.
Authors: Mac McKee
Associations: Utah State University